Tehran sentences Iranian-German man to death, Berlin calls it 'unacceptable'

Tehran sentences Iranian-German man to death, Berlin calls it 'unacceptable'
Iranian-German Jamshid Sharmahd was sentenced to death by a Tehran court, according to the judiciary's news agency.
2 min read
21 February, 2023
Sharmahd has been sentenced to death on charges of "corruption on earth" [KOOSHA MAHSHID FALAHI/MIZAN NEWS AGENCY/AFP via Getty Images]

Berlin on Tuesday condemned the death sentence handed down by a Tehran court to an Iranian-German man accused of being the leader of a "terrorist" group behind a deadly 2008 mosque bombing.

"The death sentence for Jamshid Sharmahd is absolutely unacceptable," German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said in a statement, promising a "strong reaction" to the court's decision.

"Not only is the death penalty cruel, inhuman and degrading, but Jamshid Sharmahd has never had anything approaching a fair trial," Baerbock said.

The Tehran Revolutionary Court on Tuesday convicted Sharmahd, 67, in connection with the deadly bombing of a mosque in 2008, according to the judiciary's Mizan Online news agency. He was officially sentenced for "corruption on earth".

Iranian authorities announced in August 2020 that Sharmahd, who is also a German citizen and a US resident, was arrested in what they described as a "complex operation" without specifying how, where or when he was seized.

His family say that he was abducted by the Iranian security services while in transit in Dubai and then brought under duress to Iran.

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"The news out of Iran is shocking. To give the death penalty in a trial that does not follow the rule of law goes against all international law and human rights," Baerbock told journalists on the margins of an official visit to Turkey, following the recent deadly earthquakes.

Germany had been "denied consular access and access to the trial dates" despite high-level efforts to assist Sharmahd, Baerbock said in the statement.

"We call on Iran to remedy these shortcomings in the appeals process, correct the verdict accordingly and refrain from the death penalty," she said.